Churah, the hidden valley of Himachal Pradesh, literally translates into ‘four paths.’ In fact, its headquarters Tissa, also known as Bhanjraru, is the central point of Churah from where different paths lead to four direction linking different places within the district and the adjoining state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Churah Valley is endowed with exceptional scenic beauty, and houses a number of religious and historical places. With a sweeping lush green cover of deodar, ban, kail, spruce and fir trees, it is paradise on Earth, especially during monsoons.
Among the tons of attractions here the most revered and well-known is Devi Kothi – a temple dedicated to Goddess Chamunda. It is about 110km from Chamba, and is said to be covered in snow for at least six months in a year. The highlight of the temple are its gorgeous murals and intricate wood-carvings that hint towards a Mughal influence.
Situated at an altitude of 3,470 meters above sea level, Gadasru Mahadev Lake commands a visit when in Churah. The circular lake is roughly half a mile in circumference, but is absolutely spectacular in its appeal. There’s a temple dedicated to Goddess Kali beside the lake, lending the place a holy significance. It’s quite a trek to the lake; so if you’re a seasoned trekker, this place is a must-visit for you.
Another surreal lake is the Mahakali Dal, situated at a height of 4,080 meters above sea level. Encircled by lush meadows and majestic mountain peaks, the lake presents a gorgeous panoramic view of the surrounds. Dedicated to Goddess Kali, this lake is smaller than the Lama Dal, yet larger than Khajjiar and Manimahesh Lake.
If you have extra time in hand, take a trip to Salooni, situated at an altitude of 1,829 meters above sea level. About 56km from Chamba, Salooni offers breath-taking panoramic views of the snow-capped hills and peaks. Also, Bandal Valley, about 27km from Salooni, is where the Himachal border meets Jammu and Kashmir.